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Cancer specialist von Eschenbach to present seminar at ASU

Andrew C. von Eschenbach
February 22, 2012

Internationally renowned cancer specialist Andrew C. von Eschenbach, who championed an agenda to modernize the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will present a seminar March 9 at Arizona State University. Von Eschenbach’s talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held 10-11:30 a.m., in the auditorium of the Biodesign Institute at ASU, 727 E. Tyler St., Tempe.

Von Eschenbach, who has a medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s University in his native Philadelphia, is president of Samaritan Health Initiatives and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The title of his talk is “The Revolution in Biology and Molecular Medicine.” It is part of a 2012 seminar series sponsored by ASU’s Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative and the Biodesign Institute.

Von Eschenbach served as commissioner of the FDA from 2005-2009 and championed an agenda to modernize the agency by process improvement of the regulatory pathway for drugs and medical devices and by fostering creative projects, including FDA’s Critical Path Initiative, which was designed to bring modern tools of science to the product development process.

Under his leadership, the FDA experienced dramatic increases in resources enabling implementation of new programs designed to strengthen the FDA in its mission to protect and promote public health. He has emphasized FDA’s role in working with external partners to assure quality throughout the entire life cycle of the products it regulates.

Before assuming the leadership role at the FDA, von Eschenbach served four years as director of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health where he set an ambitious goal to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer by rapid acceleration and integration of the discover-development-delivery continuum.

Von Eschenbach entered government service after a career as a physician, surgeon, oncologist and executive that included numerous leadership roles from chairman of urologic oncology to executive vice president and chief academic at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

He is a founding member of the National Dialogue on Cancer and has received numerous professional awards and honors. In 2006, he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people to shape the world. In both 2007 and 2008, von Eschenbach was selected as one of the Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician’s 50 most powerful physician executives in healthcare.

Additionally, von Eschenbach served as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps.

More information is available at 480-965-0115. A map of the Biodesign Institute is at